Deep venous thrombosis remains a major medical problem, affecting a large segment of the population and resulting in significant mortality and morbidity.

Current techniques available for detecting deep venous thrombosis present limitations that may mitigate their potential benefit to the patient. Invasive techniques, such as ascending contrast venography, carry risks to the patient with regard to complications such as an allergic reaction to an iodine dye, adverse effects to renal function, and clot formation in a normal vein. Noninvasive techniques, such as Doppler ultrasound and impedance plethysmography, evaluate only a limited segment of the venous bed. The need remains for a diagnostic technique that is safe, accurate, and widely accessible.

A readily available noninvasive scintigraphic technique utilizing radiolabeled monoclonal anti-fibrin antibody may overcome some of these shortcomings. This imaging examination is quite effective in detecting clots in the lower extremities. Compared to contrast venography, 111In-labeled anti-fibrin antibody imaging appears to be as sensitive in identifying acute venous thrombosis. In addition, the preliminary data indicate that anticoagulation with heparin may interfere with adequate visualization of the clots with this technique.

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Presented at the “Second Conference on Radioimmunodetection and Radioimmunotherapy of Cancer,” September 8–10, 1988, Princeton, NJ.

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